Max Kurzweil – Lady in Yellow Dress (1899)

Max Kurzweil was miserable. The Austrian artist had spent his life vacillating between passion and depression, excess and withdrawal. Like Gustave Caillebotte he was stuck between the conservatism of his bourgeois upbringing and the changing tides in art. But Kurzweil couldn’t feel too sorry for himself, for his playground was bohemian Vienna at the turn…

Mary Cassatt – In the Loge (1878)

When Countess Olenska appeared in the box of one of New York’s oldest aristocratic families one January night in the 1870s, a wave of indignation reverberated throughout the seats of the new Opera House. You’d think the fine gentlemen and ladies of New York would have been more enthralled with the Faustian tragedy being played…

Herbert James Gunn and His Mona Lisa

At thirty-one-years old Herbert James Gunn’s life was only just beginning. Sure, the Scotsman had already been married once, fathered three children, fought in World War I and wandered through the cities of Europe and the sun-drenched north of Africa, milestones which would take many of us a lifetime to achieve. But there he was…

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot – Lady in Blue (1874)

It was the autumn of 1909 when a curious Parisian crowd gathered at the Grand Palais to witness the unveiling of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s decades long, well-kept secret. Thirty-four years had passed since the great French landscape artist had died, and much had happened in the meantime. Impressionism had changed the face of the art…